Dorny Darko - MRD's November Member of the Month

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DizzyDreams Photography

So far our members of the month have mainly been travel team skaters within our league. We thought that it was about time that our hard working NSOs, Referees and Volunteers had some recognition! 
This month's member of the month is Dorny Darko, bench coach, referee, coach and Independent Skater. Dorny has been a member of MRD since late 2012 and has made a huge impact on the entire league, volunteering countless hours to help run coaching sessions and bench the Travel team. 
We had a chat with Dorny to find out more about him...

What is your derby name and number? 
Dorny Darko 4x. The names a pretty easy play on Donnie Darko. Like the film, been told I kind of look like the character a few times over the years and I've forever been known as Dorny. 4x comes from 4cross being the type of MTB racing I do when I'm not doing wheeliefeet

Which position do you play?
I enjoy any of them but I've got my first open men's bout coming up so I'm sure I'll have picked a firmer favourite after that.

What is your position within the league?
My main position bout day for MRD is bench coach (closest I can get to playing). Its a role I had a bash at at the beginning of this year at our first bout against Black Heart Rollers and the bug bit. It has all the nerves, rush, emotions and sweat of playing without the bruises (until the after party). I enjoy the pressure, a well timed time out, the right couple of words said can make/break a bout for the team, keeping every
one calm, knowing the rules inside out (working on this still) so crucial official reviews aren't wasted. The role for me doesn't end on bout day, all the time I spend with the team at training is time I'm constantly getting to know players skills, styles and in-game personalities.

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Dorny giving the team some words of wisdom, during a pre-game team huddle
When did you join Mansfield Roller Derby? 
I joined MRD in Oct 2012. As Tanisha's (Leigh-thal Bizzle) other half Id gotten to hear a lot about this roller derby thing. I started going to watch practices and soon started doing the back seat derby widow thing of thinking “this looks easy, I'll have it down in 2 min”. A pair of Reidell R3s later, I wobbled through my first derby session and I was hooked. 2 years in, I've just retired my R3s for a newer flashier model [Bonts with pilot plates] and the enjoyment is there more than ever.

Who are your derby heroes?
Steph Mainey of London Rollergirls is an easy one; a brutal player whether blocking or jamming.
Ballistic Whistle of London Rollergirls for the benching side of things. Not a big fan of the bout day shoes but boy can that man point and shout!. From watching LRG playing over the past couple of years, his tactics and timings rarely seem wrong. Also a world class jammer with Southern Discomfort.
Tanisha (Bizzle). For the dedication and hours (almost 40 hour weeks) she puts into the league as coach and chairperson. 

Did you play any sports before Roller Derby?
All the sports. I swam at county level as a school kid, played rugby throughout my teens to reasonable success, and even represented Mansfield once in a hockey tournament. My main buzz (derby comes 2nd, sorry!) is cycling; if it has 2 wheels and pedals I will have a go but I race mountain bikes 4cross as my main discipline. 4cross is essentially 4 people racing down a track with jumps, banked and flat turns and other obstacles like rocks and roots thrown in for good measure. Some moderate contact is permitted, so derby translates well.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about getting involved in Roller Derby?
Get in touch with your local league, go meet some members when they have an open social, find out when new skater/fresh meat nights are (or when a new intake is starting) and head down for a session. They are friendly spaces filled with dozens of people that went through the same nerves/fears you are having right now that are more than willing to help you with anything you ask about.

Any final words?
There are plenty of superlatives and cliches I could fill this with but, plain and simple, roller derby is just fun. Whether you're a bouting skater, zebra (r
eferee), non skating official (NSO), blogger, announcer, derby widow, occasional watcher or avid super-fan, there's a place for you!

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